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Debbie Swanson

Boston-area freelancer Debbie Swanson is a frequent contributor to animal publications.

Content by Debbie Swanson

  • Magazine Article

    Cooped-up pooches? Loan 'em out!

    The Dog Trotter program helps keep the Delaware County SPCA’s canines well-exercised.

    A temporary buddy for your sheltered pooches can help them burn off energy—and even get adopted

    I t’s a fact: A socialized and well-exercised shelter dog is happier, easier to care for and more likely to win favor with visitors. But keeping all those dogs fit, busy and happy is a challenge.

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  • Magazine Article

    What's your magic number?

    At the Animal Humane Society in Minnesota, portals between adjacent cages give resident felines double the space, making for healthier, happier, more adoptable animals.

    Analyzing shelter capacity can increase live releases

    Just a handful of years ago, if an owner stopped by to surrender a cat, the staff at the SPCA Serving Erie County would find a way to accommodate them.

    But a tragedy left the New York shelter exploring a new way of thinking.

    “It was in August of 2009, and we were taking in every cat that we could fit,” recalls executive director Barbara Carr. “We [even] had 75 cats in our multipurpose room, a 40-by-40-foot room intended for overflow.”

    After the highly contagious feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) swept through, 39 of those cats died.

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  • Magazine Article

    The power of suggestion

    Tapping into the knowledge of staff and volunteers

    Thanks to one volunteer’s suggestion, the dogs at Virginia’s Fairfax County Animal Shelter have been enjoying some extra outings.

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  • Magazine Article

    Shine a light

    Shelters and rescues are finding ways to promote the animals who, for one reason or another, don’t find homes as easily. Social media can provide a big boost.

    Giving some love to your longtimers

    Everyone who works in shelters or rescues knows pets who linger without snagging an adopter: the older Shih Tzu who needs medication; the shy mutt, one among many; the umpteenth black kitty who's overlooked in favor of flashier felines. They need extra help finding homes, and what's required is some good PR and a little creativity.

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  • Magazine Article

    Kids rock!

    Amber Ginter plays with shelter dog Lilac after giving her a bath at the Ross County Humane Society in Ohio.

    How the young and the restless can bring their energy to your shelter

    Does your shelter need an energy boost? By recruiting young people, you can acquire a volunteer force that’s brimming with energy and enthusiastic about helping animals.

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